Seashore Hall

Seashore Hall

Seashore Hall

What You'll Find Here

  • A. Craig Baird Debate Forum
  • Diversity Resources Team
  • Hancher
  • Internal Audit
  • Iowa Summer Writing Festival
  • Iowa Young Writers Studio
  • Office of the Ombudsperson
  • Psychology Department
  • Sociology Department
  • University Marketing and Media Production
  • Classrooms and faculty offices


301 East Jefferson Street
Formal Name: 
Seashore Hall
Josselyn and Taylor, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Seashore Hall (as University Hospital) was preceded on this site by the Mechanics’ Academy building, where a small, 20-bed hospital was installed in 1873. This facility was jointly operated by the University’s Medical Department faculty and the Sisters of Mercy (from Davenport) until the sisters transferred off campus to found their own hospital. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, however, dates its foundation from 1898 and the construction of University Hospital, which began as a 65-bed unit designed for both patients and clinical instruction. President Charles A. Schaeffer (1887–1898) led the way in advocating for this project, which was funded with a one-tenth mill tax approved by the state legislature to pay for needed University buildings. The original building was expanded twice before the entire hospital operation was moved to the new General Hospital on the west side of the Iowa River in 1929. In its definitive form as a hospital, achieved in 1915, University Hospital had patient wards, private rooms, clinics, and a surgical theater and accommodated a total of 350 beds. In 1930 it was remodeled as a research building and renamed East Hall; psychology and journalism became the major occupants. In 1981 the building was renamed after psychologist Carl Seashore, dean of the Graduate College.
The building history of Seashore Hall is a complicated one. The original all-brick, stripped-down, Beaux-Arts building of 1899 faced Jefferson Street rather than Iowa Avenue and was constructed on a red-brick base with buff-colored walls and an argyle pattern in red and beige brick on the top two floors, which were devoted to the surgical theater. An entrance with a monumental arched opening at the top of a flight of steps projected from the main block, and a wing on one side jutted back toward Iowa Avenue, making for an asymmetrical plan. In 1906 Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson were brought in to add a matching wing to the east and reorient the central block toward Iowa Avenue by adding a porch and main entrance. In 1915 two large multistoried additions topped with solaria, picturesque elevator towers, and red- clay-tiled gambrel roofs were built between the projecting wings and Jefferson Street, again based on a Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson design. This is the definitive view of University Hospital seen in the archival photograph. The bifurcation of the hospital reflects the arrangement of the sexes into separate wards. The additions provided the appear- ance of symmetry that, at least for the forward-projecting wings, suggests Gabriel’s Cour Royale at Versailles as the prototype—a typical reference for architects working in a Beaux-Arts style and implied already in the Josselyn and Taylor design. In 1968 Spence Psychology Laboratories were placed in front of the central block, and the pedimented façade of the right wing was masked with a Modernist entrance. In 2000 the southwest wing on the left was razed because of failing structure, but the refurbishing of the entire complex is under consideration.


The building offers limited access to persons with disabilities.

The accessible entrance is located at the southwest corner of the building and is reached from Iowa Avenue. It is equipped with a power door opener. Seashore Hall may also be reached via Spence Laboratories.
The nearest designated accessible parking is located in Parking Lot #9 just east of Spence Laboratories. In addition, there are designated metered spaces located on the north side of Iowa Avenue in the vicinity of Spence Laboratories.
The women's restroom in room W150 and the men's restroom in room W201 offer limited accessibility.
Both the east and west wings of the building are equipped with elevators. Above the second floor it is necessary to use the east elevator to reach E prefix rooms and the west elevator to reach W prefix rooms.